Ancient Monuments

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Norwell Woodhouse moat and fishpond

A Scheduled Monument in Norwell, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.1568 / 53°9'24"N

Longitude: -0.889 / 0°53'20"W

OS Eastings: 474387.201146

OS Northings: 362763.540343

OS Grid: SK743627

Mapcode National: GBR BJ7.41M

Mapcode Global: WHFH2.9XX9

Entry Name: Norwell Woodhouse moat and fishpond

Scheduled Date: 19 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009152

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13389

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Norwell

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Norwell

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the moat and the adjacent fishpond. The moat includes a
rectangular island measuring c.60m from north-west to south-east and c.40m
from north-east to south-west. The surrounding ditch remains round three
sides of the island and is water-filled. On the north-west side it has been
filled-in, possibly when the current farmhouse was built, and survives as a
buried feature beneath the adjacent farm track.
The moat is fed from a stream which enters the ditch at its northern corner.
The ditch on this side is up to 4m deep and c.15m wide. On the south-west and
south-east sides it is between 2m and 3m deep and c.10m wide. Approximately
halfway along the south-east side it opens into a roughly rectangular fishpond
which measures c.30m by c.15m. This heavily silted but waterlogged feature
acts as an outlet for the moat, feeding water back into the stream via a
sluice at its north-east end. Wooden sluice gates would have occupied the
points where the fishpond joined the moat and stream, so that the flow of
water and fish could be controlled.
The island is presently occupied by an eighteenth century farmhouse and its
outbuildings and a modern range of freestanding barns. The eighteenth century
structures will have replaced a sequence of earlier buildings constructed in
the medieval and post-medieval periods. The remains of these will survive
beneath the more recent structures and also beneath the eighteenth century
farmyard which now serves as a forecourt-garden. All the standing buildings
are excluded from the scheduling, as are all modern walls, steps and garden
features, the surfaces of all paths and drives, and all modern boundaries and
gates, although the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moat at Norwell Woodhouse is a good example of a small farmstead moat with
an attached fishpond. Unusually for this part of the country, the moat and
fishpond are wet. This indicates that organic material such as wood, leather
and plant remains will be well-preserved.

Source: Historic England


Title: Ordnance Survey County Series 1:2500
Source Date: 1920

Source: Historic England

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